AMELIA COUNTY, Va. – Amelia Sheriff's deputies are looking for thieves who broke out a church’s front door window, ransacked the sanctuary, and then took off with several items, one of which is worth several thousand dollars.
The statute of the Virgin Mary was a silent witness to a break-in at Good Samaritan Catholic Church in Amelia County, just off Route 360 East.
"It’s crazy. You would think a church would be something untouchable, but obviously today, nothing surprises me anymore,” said John Russell, who has lived in the area since 1989.
Deputies say thieves broke through the church's sanctuary door between late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning and got away with the church's monstrance, the vessel which holds the consecrated host during the service. The stolen item is also worth several thousand dollars.
"We literally, most of the time, keep things unlocked around here. So, it’s been so infrequent to have anything like this,” said Russell. “I wouldn’t expect this to ever happen around here.”
Over the course of three decades, he said he could think of just two criminal incidents near his home.
The latest theft, he said, may cause him to change things up.
“Something that close, I gotta be a little more secure and gonna probably end up locking things a little quicker, a little faster, and a little more secure,” Russell added.
The Amelia Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information to call 804-561-2118 or Amelia Crime Solvers at 804-561-5200.